Saturday, October 28, 2006

107. "Torch" ~ Cheryl Strayed

Teresa Rae Wood is dying of cancer. How does her partner of 12 years and her two adult children deal with it?

Simple enough premise. Complicated interpretation.

With all of the good vibes there (death, relationships, Minnesota background), I couldn't understand why I disliked this book until I was midway through it. The writer's creed - show, don't tell.

Strayed takes a good "what if," and quirky characters, but concentrates on filling in backstory rather than showing how the characters are dealing with Teresa's cancer and death. Each character is given this chance to participate, but each falls to the same fate by the puppetmaster... too much history and not enough imagery, dialogue, and ultimately, resolution.

2.0 out of 5.0 Prairie Fires.

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